Humanitarian action: Responding to new challenges

In recent months, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) together with the London-based Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) organized a series of conferences bringing together policymakers with international and national humanitarian actors.

The conferences covered a range of issues, including: what humanitarian models work best, what degree of proximity humanitarian actors need and how those outside the formal system can best influence the debate on the future of humanitarian action. The first conference took place in Beijing. China in October 2015, the second took place in Jakarta, Indonesia in February 2016.

"It is long overdue to not only acknowledge but also appreciate the diversity in the sheer number and multiple characteristics of humanitarian responders to ever sudden onset natural disasters and ever more complex, protracted armed conflicts," said Markus Geisser, Senior Policy Advisor, ICRC Mission to the UK and Ireland. "There is not one global system of humanitarian action in armed conflict or natural disasters. We often see a range of new self-organizing groups spring up locally and globally in every armed conflict or when a natural disasters strikes. These groups often work with great courage and little previous knowledge or experience of humanitarian action, but are highly effective at the onset of a crisis"

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) taking place on 23-24 May 2016 in Istanbul, will bring together for the first time all international humanitarian stakeholders to discuss and reshape humanitarian aid for the years to come. The ICRC has played an active part in the consultation process leading up to the Summit and sees the event as an opportunity to reflect upon the efficiency, effectiveness and future of humanitarian action.

Read the 'Refreshing Humanitarian Action' Report in full here:

More on the event held in Jakarta, Indonesia: